Art History

Art History


Art History at Aberdeen provides the opportunity to study the art of all periods in Europe and America - architecture, sculpture, drawing, painting, print, and decorative and industrial arts - at a University steeped in 500 years of social and artistic development and rated top in Scotland for the impact of the work of its Art History researchers.

Our Degrees

We offer a range of Art History degrees which you can read more about below.

View available degree programmes

Pathway Programmes

The University of Aberdeen International Study Centre offers preparation programmes for progression to undergraduate degree study at the university.

Discover the International Study Centre

Aberdeen was ranked the leading university in Scotland for the impact of Art History research, and second in the UK, in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework.

You will gain extensive specialised knowledge of the history of painting, sculpture, architecture and the decorative arts in Europe and North America art from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century.

You will study in buildings centuries old, yet with the most modern teaching and technology, inspired by teachers and researchers whose specialist areas range from Pictish art, medieval architecture, Italian Baroque painting, early modern prints, and Scottish and British painting from the 17th to 20th centuries.

You will be ideally placed to pursue a career in the art gallery and museum sectors, arts education, auction houses, publishing and journalism, fine art conservation, or postgraduate study. Recent graduates are working for Christie’s London, Sotheby's in Zurich, the Weiss Gallery in London, Aberdeen Art Gallery, the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney, and the McManus Gallery in Dundee. You will acquire transferable skills including teamwork, time management, personal initiative, and highly developed enquiry, analytical and presentation skills ideally suited to a range of careers.

You will enjoy all the benefits of our friendly and vibrant international community, on our beautiful campus with its own extensive art collections, great facilities for learning, sports and leisure, and many opportunities to develop the extra skills to boost your employability, including broadening your horizons through study abroad.

Why Study Art History at Aberdeen?

  • Ranked the leading university in Scotland for the impact of Art History research, and second in the UK in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework.
  • Teaching rated ‘Highly Satisfactory’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment.
  • Our magnificent art collection, including the generous gifts of alumni through the centuries, and modern artworks by leading Scottish artists making our spaces special, and adding thought-provoking inspiration to our campus.
  • The inspiration of the beautiful King’s College Chapel, begun in 1495 by University founder Bishop Elphinstone, a treasure-house of history, showcasing some of the finest work of medieval craftsmen in Europe.
  • Spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library with an excellent modern collection of art history books covering all periods, particularly strong in 18th and 19th century material, including art theory and criticism, archaeology and travel.
  • Home to the Buildings of Scotland Project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the definitive inventory of Scottish Architecture for Aberdeenshire, Moray and Aberdeen.
  • Historic treasures including important medieval manuscripts and estate papers, and the unique George Washington Wilson archive with over 45,000 original glass plate negatives made by this pioneer Victorian photographer.
  • North-east Scotland’s distinguished architectural heritage from the Middle Ages onwards, the Aberdeen Art Gallery collections of French and British art, including one of the best collections of Victorian painting outside London.
  • The National Galleries of Scotland, the Burrell Collection, Glasgow Art Gallery and the Hunterian Museum are within easy reach by train, bus or car.
  • Visits to major galleries and architecture in Edinburgh, London and Paris, as part of your programme, and a final year week-long visit to a city of artistic and cultural significance – most recently Paris.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers, and the annual May Festival which includes tours and talks on our medieval architecture and art treasures.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX